Car thief flies on foot


By Cam Lucadou-Wells

A Dandenong North man driving a stolen $66,000 Audi led police on a foot chase through streets and back yards before being found hiding by a rubbish bin, the court has heard.

Emmanual Farajala, 21, pleaded guilty at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on 20 January to car theft, disqualified driving and being found with gloves and a screwdriver connected with a theft.

He also pleaded to cannabis possession, breaching a community corrections order and committing an indictable offence on bail.

Police spotted Farajala walking away from the parked Audi A3 with a driver-side door still ajar on Oldmeadow Street Dandenong North about 12.50am on 13 June, the court heard.

Police ran along Boyd Street and Nicole Avenue in pursuit of Farajala.

Twenty minutes later, he was reportedly spotted in a backyard. Police recovered his satchel and found him hiding on a Heatherton Road corner.

Farajala – with 12 pages of prior criminal history and seven pages of driving offences – was disqualified from driving for five years at the time.

Magistrate Jason Ong agreed to defer Farajala’s sentence on the basis of “some level of positive engagement” with support services since the offending.

He noted that Farajala had not offended since the incident, and noted his childhood trauma and subsequent TAFE enrolment.

“I want you to come back to court and for you to show me you’ve stayed out of trouble, and continued your positive and constructive steps towards your rehabilitation.”

Corrections Victoria recommended that Farajala resume his breached CCO.

Farajala was not charged over the initial theft of the Audi in an aggravated burglary in Armadale several nights earlier, Mr Ong noted.

Nor was he linked to an aggravated burglary in Narre Warren involving the same vehicle, and to the vehicle speeding at 150 km/h from police on Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road.

Farajala was also not proven responsible for the Audi’s altered number plates or damaged driver-side door.

He was bailed to appear at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on 26 April.